The Brooklyn duo of Ratatat has been at the forefront of electronic rock for a long time. After their self-titled debut album in 2004, the duo quickly burst onto the scene thanks to their former work with the band “Cherry.” After the album was released, many fans knew the duo's music from tour dates with Franz Ferdinand and other well-known rock artists.
Ratatat would eventually take over as an indie electronic force. Their third full-length album began to incorporate a refined sound that used live percussion and keyboards that eased off their guitar riffs a bit. This year, they played their second critically acclaimed performance at Coachella. Watch part of their set live at Coachella with both guys on the guitar. Ratatat is Evan Mast and guitarist Mike Stroud. Check out their upcoming tour dates and check out their website.
2. Break Science
From an early collaboration with Redman to their critically acclaimed shows, Adam Deitch and Borahm Lee reflect their hip hop roots from growing up in Brooklyn, New York with true breakbeat grit. While both are keen producers, it barely prepares fans for their explosive live show. Deitch, who is also a member of the Pretty Lights band, has a breakbeat style on the drums which shows off his talents – why Lee sticks to the keyboard and incorporates a fusion of jazz, dubstep, and trip-hop. Check out their music on Soundcloud.
Check out this full set of Break Science in New York at a small venue, delivering a massive set.
Chicago natives Louis, Jake, and Mikul started out as visual artists and made the transition into a powerhouse thanks to their unique remixes. Known for playing vibraphone mostly, now they're even asking fans what other instruments to add to their sets. Their style ranges from soulful and melty to funky and enlightening – catching the eye of artists like Odesza and Kygo.
Autograf’s live show has custom-made instruments to complement the vibraphone like electric djembes and drum pads. They’re also making their own midi-controllers, analog filters and headphones. Check out their Soundcloud page for more new music (they've got a good one coming out soon).
Watch this short promo video of their live performance.
5. The Werks
The Ohio-based band called “The Werks” has a psychedelic classic rock style that adapts to their environment – truly a modern electronic band with more room for the unpredictable. They merge all kinds of instrumentals to create their funky sound – led by Dave Bartoletti on keys, Rob Chafin on drums, Chris Houser on guitar, and Chuck Love on bass. The group toured with Phish a few years ago and has a solid background playing live – but their production style is what keeps them “EDM.” Their tunes are usually referred to as “exploratory jams” and “psychedelic jam rock.”
Check out their website and watch this awesome live performance.
Dirty south roots helped established this rock group, full of four dudes from different backgrounds. Their style continues to capture or imagination and deliver nostalgia at the same time, thanks to their wide array of covers. They've got covers on Soundcloud of artists like Flume to The Eagles – showing off their ability to jam on various styles of music and deliver a groundbreaking improvisational approach. The band is made up of Brock Bowling (guitar), Matt Harris (drums/sequencing), Justin Hasting (guitar), and Ryan Nall (bass, synths). Check out their music on Soundcloud.
Zoogma performs an interpretation of Hotel California in this video.
This trio from Colorado has a very promising future. We did an interview recently with Kevin Donohue to talk about their “hydro funk” sound and what the group has cooking. After a recent sold out show playing with GRiZ in Denver (they have a release on his All Good Records imprint coming soon). Kevin is joined by Andrew Clymer on bass and synths with Chris Anderson on drums.
Check out this video from the group playing at the Fox Theater just a couple months ago. The song is called “Anytime” off their latest EP (also called Anytime) out on Adapted Records. They have new music coming out soon on the GRiZ imprint All Good Records.
8. Slow Magic
Here's an act who is changing the way everyone sees percussion performed in a live setting. The man behind the mask has not been publicly revealed – but seeing their will certainly draw perspective to a unique movement. With a tribal style outfit and an LED-mask that has a Lion King design, he whales on two large drum kits that he's even known to take into the crowd. With melodic electro synths and interesting sounds over his drum beats, Slow Magic will certainly be an act to watch this year. Check out his music on Soundcloud and follow him here to check out his upcoming tour dates.
Check out this footage of Slow Magic at Northern Nights Music Festival just a few weeks ago.
This Boulder, Colorado trio is led by Clark Smith who spins, plays keyboard and saxophone – with Justin Ehmer on drums and Fred Reisen on bass and synths. These guys really have an image that makes them stand out as a band. They even call themselves “Rainforest Tech,” with a style that feels a little Pacific Northwest but resonates with all music fans. Check out their latest music on Soundcloud, including a remix pack that went up about a week ago.
Check out their live performance from Serenity Gathering in this promo video.
10. Manatee Commune
Going on Tour with Emancipator in November, Manatee Commune is one of the most underrated musicians in the electronic game. The Seattle native has a mean talent for playing guitar and often starts out with a tasty, chill jam riff to start his set. Make sure to follow him on Soundcloud and watch out for more on his Facebook page.
Check out this live set from KEXP in Portland recorded in May of last year. Give him a follow on Facebook and Soundcloud – and make sure to try and catch him on tour this fall (dates here).